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I've just finished using Corel Ventura 5 for my first small project, two
16-page quick reference booklets. Here are my impressions.
1. Ventura 5 did not crash at all, despite the use of large color TIFF
images on every page of the two documents. As users of earlier VP versions
can attest, this is a major achievement!
2. Ventura 5 handled graphics much better than 4.2. I hadn't actually
planned to use version 5 till all of the other folks on my team had gotten
their 486 upgrades and could use it too, but problems displaying and
printing the graphics for this project in 4.2 led me to experiment with
version 5. I found that Ventura 5 was able to handle the images for my
project without any problems at all.
3. Conversion of Ventura 4.2 files to Ventura 5 wasn't flawless, but wasn't
a major problem either. I lost the bullet in one bulleted paragraph tag but
not in the other, and the handling of the page margins wasn't accurate.
Each of these glitches took about two minutes to fix.
4. Getting used to the new menu structures and learning the new features
are posing exactly the degree of challenge that I anticipated. After using
Ventura 5 pretty much full time for a week, I still have trouble finding
things. Eight-year-old habits are hard to break!
5. Performance of Ventura 5 is slower than that of version 4.2 in many
respects, but faster in others. Opening and saving chapters seems to be
considerably slower (I haven't done any benchmarking here), but printing is
a lot faster. Also, once the program has loaded an image file or displayed
the image once, it seems to be able to display it again almost instantly
when you page back and forth through the chapter. This is a major
improvement over earlier versions.
6. The paper documentation is much worse than I thought, but I was able to
find answers to all questions very quickly using the online help, which
strikes me as top-rate.
In short, I had virtually no bad experiences with Ventura 5, certainly none
of the nightmarish problems that I've heard rumors of. I'm really pleased
that I waited for Ventura 5 before making a decision to switch to
FrameMaker. I'm positive that the minor chapter conversion problems I've
experienced with Ventura 5 would have been much more difficult with Frame.
--George Hayhoe (george -dot- hayhoe -at- srs -dot- gov)
Assistant to the President for Recognition Programs, STC